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 / Updated  / Source: TODAY
By Donna Freydkin

We like to call them the in-between days, when it’s too cold for a sundress but way too warm for a wool sweater. We stand in front of our closet, a little dazed and confused. What to wear?

So we consulted style expert Brooke Jaffe to help guide us on our transitional style quest.

“The key to transitional dressing is layering and color-coordination,” said Jaffe. “The easiest way to update a sleeveless maxi dress or slip dress is layering a fitted T-shirt or turtleneck underneath.”

None of us are made of money (and lucky you if you are!) so to start, here are three things that belong in your closet right now.

A leather or vegan leather jacket in black, which “can be layered over your summer maxis, jeans and tees and blouses. There is nothing it doesn't instantly update. Look for ones that are a little more cropped. They look newer and are flattering with dresses and all of the higher-rise denim out there,” said Jaffe.

Come Together California CTC Womens Dressy Vegan Leather Biker Jacket, $35, Amazon

TODAY editors, writers and experts take care to recommend items we really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, TODAY does have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through our links, we may get a small share of the revenue.

Make like Jessica Simpson, who loves leopard prints, and get one of your own.

“I also think traditional leopard looks chic with grey denim which is another emerging trend. If you don't feel confident investing in a statement leopard dress or coat, buy a scarf or pair of leopard flats to add to small touch of the trend to your look," said Jaffe.

Tapp C. Fashion Leopard Print Infinity Scarf, $10, Amazon

As for accessories, you need a bucket bag.

“This is the new shape to have and to hold in accessories and will make all your clothing for fall look fresh,” said Jaffe, who loves a bright red. “Shades of brown and black are also incredibly chic and versatile. The new bag silhouette alone will do a lot of the talking.”

TOPSHOP Bucket Bag, $45, Nordstrom

And for our own personal must-have: a classic, simple and totally timeless jersey top, which goes easily with jeans, skirts and anything in between.

LAFAYETTE 148 NEW YORK Crewneck Jersey Tee, $148, Nordstrom

Transitional fashion fundamentals

"The white jean and gingham shirt are the quintessential summer look. Menswear shirting continues to be one of the biggest trends in fashion but its always a classic look we can rely on time and time again. I like to pair white shoes of all kinds with this look. Hoops are the earring of the moment, and this look features a high-shine pair. For her bag, we wanted to feature a statement bag and this one is straw. Remember, straw is no longer just for the beach anymore!" said Jaffe.

Relaxed Boy Shirt in Crinkle Gingham, $60, J. Crew

Mid-Rise Rockstar Super Skinny Jeans, $29, Old Navy

Large Tube Hoop Earrings, $20, Express

Bamboo Homemade Tote Bag, $38, Amazon

“Despite the taboo that you can’t wear white jeans outside of the summer months, yes, you can! It’s all about carrying the white jean forward into fall by incorporating ideas like animals prints. White jeans look elegant styled with shades of brown, camel and leopard,” said Jaffe.

ASOS DESIGN Fluffy Sweater, $35, ASOS

ASOS Stradivarius Camel Tailored Coat, $95, ASOS

AE NE(X)T Level Jegging, $50, AE

Forever 21 Faux Leather Bag, $23, Forever 21

Aldo Leather Heeled Ankle Boot, $82, ASOS

"There is going to be a lot of traditional leopard print out there and it's a great investment print because you can style with white jeans and then ease your way into black," said Jaffe.

Parisian Belted Leopard Coat, $64, ASOS

Circular Metal Earrings, $20, Zara

Raid Maple2 Black Patent Loafers, $48, ASOS

"The summer striped T-shirt is a classic, and we modernized it by pairing it with a white denim skirt — it’s the new wardrobe must-have," said Jaffe.

Lace-Up Denim Mini Skirt with Raw Hem, $80, J. Crew

Classic Striped T-Shirt, $50, J. Crew

Steve Madden Greece Sandals, $37, Macy's

Polly Hoop Earrings, $34, Bauble Bar

"Try pairing the striped shirt for fall with a vegan leather pencil skirt. It’s a great transitional look that is polished yet comfortable," said Jaffe. "This is a look that can take you from desk to dinner."

Striped Flame 3/4 Sleeve Boatneck Top, $68, Lilla P

Mosman Leatherette Black Skirt, $100, Universal Standard

H&M Long Jacket, $35, H&M

Easy Street Proper Dress Pump, $12-$60, Amazon

Le Meridien Black Bucket Bag, $37, Lulus

"We all have our go-to floral dress. It’s our style version of comfort food. You can update the look with resin earrings and a straw circle bag," said Jaffe.

Molokai Floral Maxi Dress, $89, Coedition

Round Raffia Crossbody Bag. $50, Zara

Large Polished Gold Ends Hoop Pierced Earrings, $75, Coedition

Lauren Conrad Firefli Sandals, $13, Kohl's

"You want to find shirts and tops that fit well, and can serve as your base layer under your dresses. Here, we used a fitted black T-shirt — which you may already own — and a vegan leather jacket to ward off the chill on cooler days. We added a red bag for a dash of color. Another variation? Wear a turtleneck underneath!" said Jaffe.

Play It Koi Black Foral Print Surplice Maxi Dress, $47, Lulus

Souped-Up Black Vegan Leather Moto Jacket, $70, Lulus

Slim Perfect T-Shirt, $30, J. Crew

Lucy Chevron Quilt & Lock Clutch Chain, $14, Boohoo